July 27, 2020 / 9:20 AM / 18 days ago

Philippine leader threatens closure or government takeover of 'lousy' telecom firms

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Globe Telecom is seen at a Globe service center in Edsa, Quezon City, metro Manila, Philippines, May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday threatened the closure or government expropriation of telecoms firms for what he called “lousy” services, and gave providers until December to improve.

“Improve services lest we be forced to take drastic steps,” he said during his state of the nation address. “Might just as well close all of you.”

The country at present has two major telecoms firms PLDT (TEL.PS) and Globe Telecom (GLO.PS) and Duterte had previously threatened their closure while campaigning for office in 2016.

Those companies have repeatedly defended their services and investment in improvements and said excessive government bureaucracy has prevented faster network upgrades.

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Ed Davies

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